If you grew up in the 90’s, you might remember a game by the name BOP IT. Yeah, that strange looking plastic thing, that would voice commands like “flick it”, “spin it”, “pull it”, and “bop it” as you “pass it”. Quickly nearing the end of this DTS’ outreach, I lay in bed thinking of this silly game I use to enjoy playing so much. Our time here in SA has been rewarding to say the least, but it has also been extremely challenging for me personally.
I left for outreach with mixed emotions; I always wanted to go to South Africa, but after moving and traveling back and forth so many times this past year (‘so many times’ for a comfort person like me), my eagerness to go anywhere remotely far from my new home, had pretty much passed. Additionally, much like the time before my last outreach, I didn’t fully understand why God was asking me to leave Germany when I knew He had called me there. However, I was still confident that God had something for me in SA and that He would do great things. Because I was clearly taking this step in faith, putting my hesitation aside, and going for it, I also thought there would be a sort of easyness that came with outreach upon arrival. I mean, obviously I knew that we would face the many challenges of outreach, but I thought my desire to travel, energy and motivation would all return for this phase of the DTS when the plane landed. Nope. I quickly realized, it wasn’t going to be like that this time. From the moment we arrived, all the way to the end, there were many places to go and serve, but instead of always being moved and motivated by the need infront of me, there were many times where I just wasn’t and I felt a bit like the BOP IT toy- being flicked, pulled, spun, bopped and passed in a circle…. and let me tell you, it ‘s not so fun. Yet, I know the truth is that these are the times that shape our character and who we are. During my time in SA I have indeed seen God move and do great things through our team, for the people here, but I’ve also seen the work He’s done in me and I know that during this time He’s started things in me that I have yet to see the result of. He has been my main and often only motivator when I’ve felt empty. He has been my strength day in and day out and He has made this time possible… because it would have been nothing without Him in me.
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:3-6
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Phillipians 4:11-13